The Top Growth Opportunities
Your Leadership Team Is Facing Right Now
The leadership of your company makes or breaks the company culture and the attitude of the employees. A poor approach trickles down and can create apathy at best. Leaders require a specialized skill set that takes time and intention to develop. Your corporation should consistently strive to improve management as your company grows.
Deloitte conducts an annual survey of millennial and Gen Z workers. Past surveys showed a high number of younger employees feel companies aren't working to develop leadership skills in them. In a recent survey, researchers found a mere 33% of millennial and Gen Z employees felt their business leaders had a positive impact on staff and the world at large.
Figuring out what each generation of worker needs is part of your leadership responsibilities. Here are some other top growth opportunities your leadership team must embrace to get ahead in the years to come.
1. Finding a Vision
The world is different than it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people shifted their focus to things of substance and essential survival. Many companies find they must also shift with the changing times.
Take a beat to figure out who you are as a brand and why you do what you do. Are there any causes which tie into your efforts? For example, brands such as Bombas Socks give back every time someone makes a purchase. Other companies adopt a charity and donate or volunteer with a local pet rescue center or something else that makes sense for their industry.
2. Improve Efficiency
If you run any type of warehouse or shipping center, you may find mistakes or bottlenecks slow down your process and cost your brand money. Who wouldn’t love to improve warehouse operations by 50% or more?
Use software that tracks where each item is, what needs ordered and the fastest route between Item A and Item B. Implement employee training that works around bottlenecks. As a leader, your job is to talk to the people who work with inventory every day. How can you make their job easier? What tools would reduce injuries, stress and mistakes?
3. Start a Training Program
One mistake many companies make is by hiring leaders from outside the company. You may overlook people who have invested time and energy into building your brand from the ground up. They have an in-depth understanding of your company culture and what makes your business tick.
When you choose promising individuals, train them and promote them up, you gain people who understand both the positives and negatives of your brand. They can offer solutions to fix problems you’re facing.
While you might not always be able to promote from within, you should attempt to train those already working for you. It’s much easier to fill a low-skill position because you promoted someone than to find the perfect management candidate.
4. Stay Positive
The last couple of years put a strain on most businesses and the pandemic isn’t yet over. Your job as a leadership team is keeping everyone informed about the changes needed to keep your business running and encourage them that better times are ahead.
There may be days when you lose a big client or face supply shortages. Your team must smile through it and come up with creative ways to fill customer needs. Share positive affirmations, start the day with a scrum meeting where you cheer for small successes and learn to put complaints on the back burner while you look for answers.
5. Fix Communication Issues
More people work remotely than ever before. Stanford reported a shift in the summer of 2020, where approximately 42% of the workforce did their jobs from home. Although some have returned to work, many companies are finding their employees want remote options and they can save money on office space and gain more productivity by allowing it.
However, with the change comes challenges to stay in touch throughout the work day. Zoom meetings are one option, but being in endless video conferencing all day eats into productive work hours.
The solution is third-party chat options and project management boards. Staff log in at any time and can see what others worked on and what needs completed. While Zoom meetings have their place, try to limit them to only the most necessary brainstorming sessions.
6. Mentor Others
It’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day tasks of running a business you forget to share your wisdom with those rising up the ranks. Implement a mentoring program in your company, where you match a more experienced worker with a new one.
People have different skills they’ve developed over time. You want to be sure everyone knows the best methods available or you risk an older employee retiring or moving on and the younger ones being unsure of how they handled a task.
Encourage those who’ve been on your staff for a number of years to create guides on how to do their jobs. Make sure they understand it isn’t so you can replace them, but so someone can step in if they are on vacation, have an unexpected illness or to begin training people for when they retire.
Make sure each leader on your team has someone to teach. Make sure each person not in a leadership role has a mentor.
7. Work on Decision Making Skills
How well your leadership team makes decisions can determine how quickly your organization grows into a thriving business. Encourage your leaders to dig into each problem and look at the full range of consequences to any actions. As a team, you should weigh the positives and negatives. What is the worst outcome to your decision? What is the best?
Pull in advice from outside your team. Network with other CEOs and call them for input. Talk to the workers your decision might impact. Survey your customers to make sure they’re okay with any significant changes. Take your time on big decisions and you’re less likely to make costly mistakes.
Limit Your Goals
It’s tempting to try to fix every little challenge your company faces. However, taking on too many goals at one time may mean you don't meet any of them effectively. Instead, choose a couple of things you’d like to work on and encourage everyone on your leadership team to get on board before moving on to the next thing.
About the Author
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.